What are you Re – “Modeling”? | Integrity Part 1

Have you ever been in a situation where you said that person lacks Integrity? My dad taught me many things as a child when going to job sites with him at 5 years old, but the education continued through his 93 years. This is the most important of all the things he taught me; “the only thing we will own is our integrity.” Each year I have realized that it was a foundation for all the other things. 

3 “The Integrity of the honest keeps them on track; the deviousness of crooks brings them to ruin. 4 A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart, but a principled life can stand up to the worst.” Proverbs 11:3-4, The Message

The word Integrity evolved from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete. In this context, Integrity is the inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. There are days when I feel incomplete; how about you?
As Dr. Henry Cloud states in his book “Integrity,” Integrity is having the courage and ability to meet the demands of reality. The immature character asks for life to meet their demands, but the mature character meets the demands of life. Are you expecting everyone to meet your demands? 

“Guard your integrity as a sacred thing.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I continued to grow up dad also taught me that you always have Integrity but is it improving? The example he taught was that our Integrity is always a work in progress. As we are both in the construction business together most examples relate to our occupation. He used the example of remodeling your home. After a time the rooms that once seemed perfect are now dull and outdated and ready for renovation. Let’s look at your integrity as one of the rooms where you live now. You see a magazine or go to a friend’s house where you see something you like. You ask yourself if you could do something like that (or if you are me you ask if you can make it better).

Integrity means wholeness. In morality/ethics, it means having a point of view about what is right, doing what is right, and — at the highest level — taking a stand to correct what is not right. Look at your Integrity as your whole house (wherever you live; a trailer, apartment, house, or personal resort). Where do we begin? If your roof leaks and everything inside is ruined, please start fixing the roof. Looking at the definition above, Integrity is “wholeness,” we should examine every area of our life. For our example, what room in our house needs the most work? At the root of Integrity, is doing what you said you would do when you said you would do it, and how you said you would do it.

If you agree that we should always be working on our Integrity, let’s begin one step at a time. We need to remodel the bathroom. Would you install a new toilet onto a clogged drain? The problem still exists. Is everything functioning and located correctly? Are you going to expand it? When looking to remodel your Integrity take a moment and determine the root problem. Do you struggle with being honest with money, and integrous with your relationships? Are you constantly late for meetings or come unprepared?The client requested a meeting early in my career and with the first project over a million dollars. The contract was for $1.4mm and he had a duffle bag with $1.2mm in cash. He asked if he could pay me in advance in cash with the lesser amount. I thanked him for the offer but responded we don’t do business that way. I also said that if I accept this offer, you will never be able to trust me. I garnered his respect because I was not willing to compromise my Integrity. Over a period of 30 years, we have built three amazing projects, all based on Integrity. Was I tempted? Yes. At that moment, I realized that we should never be willing to compromise our future at the expense of satisfying the present.

Seeking to live in His reflection,


P.S. Watch for next month’s newsletter where I’ll dive into Part 2 of the Integrity series.

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